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Space Explorer: The Great American Desert launches in East London

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Thursday 5th May sees the launch of a pioneering new public art initiative in Hackney. Created by the documentary photographer Robin Mellor, Space Explorer is a new, free, art-based app platform intended to encourage people to explore the urban environment, discovering artworks and soundscapes along the journey.

After a successful Kickstarter funding campaign raised the £16,000 needed to bring it to life, Space Explorer’s first show is now ready for lift-off. Driven by a desire to rediscover our sense of adventure in the city, the project aims to create moments of wonder and intrigue in the heart of our everyday city surroundings, taking the joy of discovering art out of the gallery and onto the street.

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Space Explorer’s first show ‘Another Space & Time’ takes viewers on a journey through the American desert in search of the meaning of life – via 15 locations in East London.

The Space Explorer app will guide explorers along a route from Hackney Central to Regent’s Canal, with 15 billboard-sized artworks hidden along the way. Once in the GPS zone of the artwork, the app immerses its users in a bespoke soundscape designed to complement and enhance the image, thus turning the untapped spaces of the neighbourhood into a four-dimensional outdoor gallery.

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“I’m fascinated by people’s stories, especially those who have a great obsession in life or who like to live outside the norm. We set up Space Explorer as a creative outlet for work we’re really passionate about, which can help inspire others and spread outsider knowledge into the public consciousness.” – Robin Mellor, Founder, Space Explorer

Running for eight weeks, ‘Another Space and Time’ uses images and stories of the inhabitants of the Great American Desert to ignite our curiosity and alter our perspectives by re-contextualising art and bringing extraordinary narratives into unexpected locations. The project is run with the support of Hackney Council as part of its regeneration scheme, and is accompanied by the free Space Explorer magazine, available from cafés and shops along the route. The publication explores the story of the exhibition in depth and showcases up-and-coming photographic talent from the local VSCO community.

Join us at the launch of Space Explorer this Thursday @ Protein Studios.

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The Space Explorer app is available to download free on iOS and Android from the app stores. 

Artist: Robin Mellor

Art direction + design: Yassa Khan and Beatriz Cóias at Grey London 

Sound design: Hana Walker Brown at Wolfgang Radio

App creation: Dynoden

Website: Ech Design

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